September 4, 2020
Boston Realty Advisors’ Jason Weissman says the future is now, and brokers in both the residential and commercial space need to be ready for it. “Silicon Valley is catching up to the real estate industry,” he writes in Fast Company.
He notes that over the past decade, more than $30 billion has poured into the proptech space, “a new generation of startups at the intersection of property and technology.
As the owner of the largest independent real estate brokerage and advisory firm in Massachusetts, I have been studying the brokerage industry for 25 years,” writes Weissman. “I’ve seen aspiring disruptors come and go. This time is different.”
Brokers and agents will need to make the technological leap, Weissman writes. In order to do so, “they need to recognize that every real estate transaction will ultimately begin and end online.
“Today, unicorns such as Zillow and Redfin are redefining and leading the consumer experience of search by creating new platforms for buying, selling, and renting homes,” he continues. “These tech companies are a wake-up call for real estate agents to reinvent or die.”
However, Weissman says it’s not all doom and gloom. “While proptech will ultimately bring all listings online, real estate agents are still critical for the most important part of the purchasing process: advisory service,” he writes. “If all politics is local, that is doubly true for real estate. Even the most tech savvy buyer or seller can benefit from the counsel of someone with market knowledge about individual neighborhoods.”
Further, Wissman observes, “The pivot from conventional practice to digital efficiency has created new business opportunities for real estate agents with sharp analytical skills who understand how to translate data into palatable information. While technology narrows the gap, proptech is still in its infancy, with a lot yet to learn.”
That being the case, Weissman cautions, “The real estate agents and brokerages who survive and thrive in the coming crunch will be those who embrace technology, not fight it.”
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